Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

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October in the Twin Cities bursts with family activities from fall festivals to Halloween happenings. Here are 10 notable fresh picks:

1)  Visit a pumpkin patch

Do you prefer your patches plain or fancy? Are you simply in search of that perfect jack-o-lantern or hankering for a full-on fall festival with all the trimmings? There is a pumpkin patch to suit all tastes here in the Twin Cities. Some of our picks include Wheel Fun Rentals’ patch in Richfield, Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming and Eveland Family Farm out of Anoka. Get all the details in our Twin Cities Guide to Pumpkin Patches.

2.  Shop as a family at a fall Farmers Market – then cook up a cozy dinner together

Get kids inspired to help in the kitchen with a trip to a family-friendly fall market such as Mill City Farmers Market & Midtown Farmers Market (both in Mpls) and Richfield Farmers Market (Veterans Park). The stacks of brightly-colored autumn produce are just begging to be turned into cozy family dinners. Hurry over for the harvest; last call for many of the markets is October 21.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

3) Harvest up some festivals

Fall, in my opinion, has the heartiest, most feel-good festivals of any time of the year.

Fall on the Farm | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park
This little treasure of a place is tucked up in Brooklyn Park, not far from the lovely Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. As it’s a working farm, October means time to put the harvest up for the winter — and you’re invited to help. All ages can get hands on in the field, in the barn and in the farmhouse kitchen. 10/13/18, 12-3pm, $4-$6/pp.

UFC Farm Supply Harvest Festival | Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
Dog shows, pumpkin weigh-off, wagon rides, crafts, cooking demos & more. 10/6/18, 9:30am-3:30pm. FREE admission.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

4)  Take in a live show this fall

Give the screen a rest and take the kids instead to see a live performance. The Twin Cities is stocked with opportunities for kids to take in theater and other cultural events. We keep a Performing Arts Plan Ahead Calendar up to date with the latest shows.

Which Witch is Which? will premiere at the Avalon Theater, 1500 East Lake Street in Minneapolis, Oct. 16-21, 2018. Tickets $10 kids, $12 adults, free lap passes 2 years and under. This would make an ideal activity if you’re entertaining the kids over MEA Break.

Online box office at:, or at

5)  Spend a few extra days together over MEA break

We like to think of this long weekend as a blessing – though we understand often it may not feel as such. We recommend a little advance planning to make the most of the time. Our MEA Family Guide lists special MEA hours for museums, pumpkin patches and apple orchards as well as early Halloween events taking place Oct 18-21.

6) See fall colors aboard the Pumpkin Express Train 

Osceola & St Croix Valley Railway bids you all to hop aboard its special Pumpkin Express Train October 19-21. Admire the blazing colors on the bluffs as you chug out to the Dresser Depot for games, live music, hayrides and, of course, that perfect pumpkin (ages 15 & under receive a FREE pumpkin with admission ticket). Tickets sell out quickly for the event; check the calendar here to see what’s still in stock. $5-$25/pp. If you can’t swing those dates, try one of the railway’s weekend fall color train rides.

7) Get in some extra trick-or-treating

And it doesn’t just have to be all about the candy. In fact, my personal favorite places to take the kids for a bonus trick-or-treat session are a number of grocery stores in town. In the past, my kids have left with bags stuffed full of fresh fruit, cheese sticks, pretzels, and other healthier options. Thank you, Kowalski’s Boo Bash,  for that week’s supply of school snacks! For more markets events, check our listings to Trick-or-Treat at Twin Cities Grocery Stores & More.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

8)  Solve a corn maze

Personally, I don’t often venture into corn mazes (don’t need the extra stress in my life), but the kids love them. This particular one was ready to take on the challenge on a recent, beautiful fall day at Waldoch Farm in Lino Lakes. The farm & garden center offers an array of fall fun on weekends through the month of October. Included in admission of $10/pp is access to the corn maze, obstacle course, pedal bikes of all sizes, play equipment, a train ride and more. Best for kids ages 8 & under. There is no charge to explore the animals at Joyer Barnyard or take a hayride out into the pumpkin patch. Open daily, 10am-7pm. For more on the corn maze craze try our Top Twin Cities Corn Mazes for Families.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

9) Get up close to big rigs

Who’s got kids that stop in their tracks at the sight of one of those monster vehicles?

Minnetonka City Open HouseMinnetonka Civic Center Campus
Learn more about the city at this free, fun event! Ride in a fire truck, explore snow plows and other large equipment, tour the fire and police stations and visit activities and displays. Enjoy free hot dogs, pop, snacks, live music, face painting and more! 10/9/18, 5–8 p.m. FREE.

Eden Prairie City-Wide Open House
Explore City facilities and equipment up close. There’ll be entertainment, special tours, refreshments and the big rigs! Held at Eden Prairie City Center & Fire Station 1. 10/6/18, 11am-2pm. FREE

10) Have a howlin’ good time on & around Halloween

Little ghouls and goblins, here is surely some sweet news for you: there is no end to the ways to celebrate Halloween in the Twin Cities. Trust us, we’ve been swamped for the past month trying to get a handle on all that is offered: Halloween parties in the parks, pumpkin festivals, trick-or-treat events, costume contests and loads of other ways to have not-so-spooky fun. We’ve tried our best to tame the beast in our seasonal guide HERE:

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